The priorities of ICE are clear, their strategy is aggressive, and their tactics pose a threat to every American with this new “urban warfare training facility”.
September 16, 2019
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director GWP
Here are some things we are told to be scared of, for which we should therefore support all-out prohibition — at any cost:
- Drugs and “illicit” substance possession
- Gun ownership
The policies to ban these activities are so Machiavellian, the government preemptively violates the rights of the Americans they were supposed to protect.
The drug war resulted in billions in asset forfeiture, and helped rank the United States as the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world. The majority of confiscated property isn’t even tied to an existing investigation, much less a guilty party, by the way.
Immigration isn’t far behind with dubious searches, and wrongful punishments being doled out to American citizens based on profiling or people “not having their papers”. (At the top of this article is a video of an American citizen, being detained by border control, who knows his constitutional rights and demands a warrant signed by a judge, with his lawyer on speaker phone.)
Unlicensed gun ownership has led to trumped-up charges with no actual victims other than the accused! Possession of a gun is not the same as possession of a gun that was involved in a violent crime. But check any police Facebook page and you will see pictures of proudly confiscated firearms that simply weren’t registered.
And the ever elusive “terrorist” — the boogeyman born out of 9/11, and the dead horse we continue to beat as a nation — has created a surveillance and government spy matrix which all but discards the fourth amendment of the constitution.
We’ve covered the moral hazards of these policies, and continue to do so because defending ourselves against an encroaching government extends well beyond that of gun ownership.
When the second amendment was written, no one imagined the “Big Brother” technology that would later be ushered into society. Defense at that time was straight-forward, and boiled down to some physical altercation.
Now it’s far more subversive. Taxpayers are paying for their own oppression, as well as the resources for their oppressors to succeed at it.
Here’s a headline which demonstrates the latest in taxpayer-funded oppression training:
“ICE Is Building A ‘State-Of-The-Art’ ‘Urban Warfare’ Training Facility That Will Include ‘Hyper-Realistic’ Simulations Of Homes In Chicago And Arizona“.
The locations of these facilities leaked out due to a redaction error in their initial report on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
This is not to fight insurgents in Afghanistan. This is for a domestic agency, ICE, to fight… who exactly?
Is this really necessary for immigration? Is this even necessary for customs?
Here’s a working definition of customs:
customs plural a. duties, tolls, or imposts imposed by the sovereign law of a country on imports or exports b. usually singular in construction : the agency, establishment, or procedure for collecting such customs
With Trumps obsession with tariffs, along with the decades long commitment to gun control and the drug war, I think we found what might be an expansion of the duties of ICE. I cannot help but wonder if ICE will soon be involved in searches for imports of goods that evaded tariffs as well as contraband.
But if this is indeed about rounding up people, and this is the level of force they are willing to use, then the mission has crept well beyond “defense” and crossed over into indiscriminate enforcement.
While ICE insists they were not trying to hide anything when they failed to properly redact some location information, the ACLU has a different take.
“[ACLU] spokeswoman Marcela Taracena said the plan speaks to ICE’s priorities, as well as a lack of transparency within the department.”
One of the features called out in the headline is “hyper realistic”. This descriptor is actually patented by the San Diego based company, Strategic Operations, Inc., that is contracted to build these facilities. Their own definition of this is:
“Such a high degree of fidelity in the replication of battlefield conditions in the training environment that participants so willingly suspend disbeliefthat they become totally immersed and eventually stress inoculated.“
For about $962,000, ICE will get five separate facilities: one Chicago simulation, one undisclosed Arizona simulation, and three “fishbowl” simulations.
The fact is, people are hurt unnecessarily when the government enforces anything. If enforcement is required, then let it be for activity that poses an imminent threat to free people.
The costs to process, prosecute, and incarcerate people is dear. If that too is needed, then let it be for activity that violates the individual rights of others.
For those who are angry about the cost of welfare and public services to immigrants, the solution cannot be an expansion of government and an increase in spending. Claims made about the fiscal burden of immigrants on the American taxpayer vary, depending on the time frame they are looking at.
Children in general, regardless of citizenship, cost more due to the high education expenditures on the state and local levels. Once out, they generally go one to be net tax contributors. While ending welfare is the ideal solution, the fact remains that an immigrant stands to become a net contributor, while government programs will never be a net gain for the US economy.
That the federal government is building “urban warfare simulation facilities” for its Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency should give EVERY American pause.
We’ve seen how American citizens are being denied passports as part of the enforcement of these laws. American children are being detained for hours, while Stasi-like officials “confirm their identities”. The claim that if you’ve done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear is baseless.
Imagine the high stakes in a mistake made with this sort of “urban warfare” enforcement. How many innocent people have lost their lives or have been brutalized because they “fit the description”? Lest we forget how flawed the facial recognition technology actually is!
Whatever threats you imagine undocumented immigrants might pose to the United States, they pale in comparison to what the government will do to enforce any law. While they claim to be targeting criminals, you can bet innocent individuals will be hit as well.
Americans should not be so blinded by their obsession to enforce arbitrary laws, that they regard the liberties of themselves and fellow countrymen as expendable.
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